This is a pre-recorded service for Sunday, 03 May 2020, and it is broken into 4 separate videos. The words of the readings & prayers, as well some YouTube music videos, are also included.
Opening our hearts to God
Hymn: ‘Praise to the Lord’
‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Salvation’, sung by the ‘Altar of praise choral’.
Welcome & call to worship:
Rev. Keith Robinson leads us with the opening prayers. The words are included underneath the video window.
Jesus calls to us by name and those who belong to him hear his voice. We light the candle that signifies that Christ is with us.
(The candle is lit)
We pay our respects to the elders and leaders of the Wiradjuri and other peoples who cared for and were stewards of this land for countless generations.
As we gather in the name of the risen Lord, let us worship the God who calls us.
Prayer of adoration & thanksgiving:
Let us pray…
Gracious God, we give you thanks and praise for the day you have made, for the life you have given, and for the love you have poured out.
We thank you for Jesus our Shepherd, who calls us by name and leads us safely to the waters that refresh and bring eternal life.
Help us to give you the praise and honour you deserve, and to worship you in our hearts throughout the day and every day. Amen.
Prayer of confession:
Let us now come to God with our prayer of confession…
Forgive us, O God, for the times when we fail to reach out and be with those who are going through difficult times; those who feel trapped in a valley of shadows and find themselves overwhelmed by life.
Jesus, good shepherd, help us to take time and make space to hear your call to us. May we reveal your love, compassion and comfort wherever you need us to bind up the wounds of the victims in our community and in the world. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen
Let us spend a moment in silent reflection …
Promise of God’s forgiveness:
‘If we confess our sins, the One who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ (1 John 1:9)
As the lost son is welcomed home, and angels rejoiced at the return of the lost sheep, so God is to be trusted to receive again those who come near. Hear then Christ’s word of grace, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Thanks be to God!
Musical reflection: “The Lord’s my Shepherd” (Aileen Gilchrist)
Listen & reflect as Aileen Gilchrist sings an arrangement of, “The Lord’s my shepherd”. The photos are of New Zealand and are by Philip Hartnett. The words are included below the video window.
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want, he makes me down to lie in pastures green; he leadeth me the quiet waters by. My soul he doth restore again and me to walk doth make within the path of righteousness e’en for his own name’s sake. Yea though I walk in death’s dark vale, yet will I fear no ill, for thou art with me and thy rod and staff me comfort still. My table thou hast furnished in presence of my foes, my head thou dost with oil anoint and my cup overflows. Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me and in God’s house forevermore my dwelling place shall be.
Listening for God’s word
Bible reading: John 10: 1–10 (Jesus the Good Shepherd)
The gospel reading for today is from John, chapter 10. In this reading, Jesus uses an everyday image from that time of a shepherd and his sheep. Our reader is Pastor Adrian Single from Young Uniting Church.
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Rev. Keith Robinson brings us the message for today.
Ros Robinson from Cootamundra Uniting Church will lead us in a time of prayer, which concludes with the Lord’s prayer. In our prayers today, we will be using a guided meditation adapted from The Second Intercessions Handbook by John Pritchard. The words are also included below the video window.
Prayers of the people & Lord’s prayer:
As we come to God in prayer today, I invite you to close your eyes and place your hands, palm upwards, on your lap. Let your breath move gently in and out. Allow yourself to become aware of any issues or concerns that are occupying your thoughts at the moment – unfinished business, tricky relationships, work awaiting you, decisions to be taken.
Hold all these things in your hands. Feel the weight of them. Recognise that they are part of you at this moment.
Now turn your hands over so that your palms are facing downwards onto your lap. As you turn your palms over, feel all those issues slipping away, falling out of your hands.
Let them fall into the hands of God, who will catch everything that needs to be caught. Let yourself release to God those things that you don’t need to keep hold of Feel the freedom, the lightness, as those concerns fall away.
Turn your hands over so that the palms are facing upwards again. Now your palms are open, but empty, no longer carrying all the weights and burdens as before – open to God’s love and peace as we pray together now:
Loving God, we bring before you all who need your healing touch. We pray for your church and your world, for those who are oppressed, grieving, afflicted or in need.
Lord, we pray for our families and neighbours, particularly those we name in our hearts…
Gracious God, remind us that you care for us; we need nothing more. You lead us into a haven of peace and rest. You breathe new life into us and lead us in new ways. You are with us, and comfort us, even when the darkness of the world looms large. In the face of all that troubles us, you provide for us, and pour out your blessings. God of justice and compassion you are with us always
and have promised to sustain us all our life.
Accept all these prayers through your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We say together the prayer that Jesus taught us:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us in the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
Sending out into God’s world
Word of mission & blessing:
Most loving God, help us to know Jesus our good shepherd, that we may be able to recognise his voice and have the courage to follow wherever he leads us.
Go in peace and love and care for one another in the name of the Lord.
May God lead you to places of rest and renewal, may Christ Jesus give you life in abundance, and may the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with gladness and generosity, both now and forevermore. Amen.